Havana to start 2014 in GII Swale Stakes – Post Positions, Picks, M/L Odds, Free Past Performances

Havana - at the rail here holding off the oncoming  Honor Code to take today's
Havana – (at the rail here) holding off the oncoming Honor Code to take the GI Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park last fall!

$200,000, GII Swale Stakes, 3YO’s, at 7f’s (Dirt) ( Race #9, Post time 5:10 p.m. EST).

Free Past Performances,

The highly touted 3yo Havana , will make his eagerly anticipated first start of his 3yo campaign this Saturday at Gulfstream Park in the GII Swale Stakes at 7f’s with no derby points to be awarded in here either!

Havana , at Now scratched, by Dunkirk, held off a hard charging Honor Code to win last fall’s GI Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park! He then went on to come 2nd in the GI B/C Juvenile by 1 1/4 length after surrendering a stretch lead to the 2013 2yo male HOY, but now retired, New Years Day making Havana, now the defacto top 3yo in training! Only 3 lifetime races for this one who’ll flash some early speed here on Saturday!

No Nay Never , at 2/1, by Scat Daddy, broke his mdn in a Keeneland 4 1/2 f mdn way back on April 26th of last year. His connections then moved him across the pond where he won the Grp 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 20th, then last out won the Grp 1 Darley Prix Morny Stakes at Deauville Fr. on August 18th where he covered 6f’s, over a soft turf course, in a good 1:09.4. A long layoff here, switching back to American style sprinting over dirt for the first time and taking on one of the top 3yo’s in training now is a tall order here! He is undefeated however, with some early speed too, so he is quite use able here on Saturday!

Prudhoe Bay, at 5/1, by Songandaprayer, Breitling Flyer , at 8/1, by Ghostzapper and Can’t Stop the Kid , at 6/1, by Montbrook, are the 1-2-3 finishers in the $50k OBS Sprint Stakes where 2 1/4 lengths would cover this trio at the line back on Jan 21st, going 6f’s in 1:10 flat. Can’t Stop the Kid , flattered that race last out by winning a Feb 2nd, G/P $75k 1x Oc at 6f’s again in 1:10 flat. Not a lot of early speed in this grouping either, but one of them could pick up a piece here if the pace collapses big time!

Spot , at 10/1, by Pulpit, finished 5th last out in the GIII Hutcheson Stakes back 8 lengths with only a mild stretch bid! He did break his maiden in a Hawthorne 6f dust-up in 1:10.2 last year so he has some speed but just might be out of his class here on Saturday! Some early speed here but probably not enough to scare off the favorites!

Brothersofthetime , at 12/1, by Bob and John, won the $75k Seacliff Stakes at Calder 2 back at a mile in a slack 1:42 flat, then finished 4th, in the $85 Foolish Pleasure Stakes at Calder, 4 lengths off the winner with no real bid! He hasn’t raced since last Sept and is more of a closer type then anything else!

So, Havana , a Todd Pletcher trainee, looks to kick off his 2014, 3yo season here in this no derby points GII Swale Stakes sprint but he is going to have to find a points race soon as the 14 points he has now just might not cut it this year and Derby 140 is but 2 months or so away now!

PP. Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L Odds
1. Havana J R Velazquez 123 T A Pletcher Scr’d
2. Can’t Stop the Kid L Saez 117 D Green 6/1
3. No Nay Never J Castellano 123 W A Ward 2/1
4. Prudhoe Bay P Lopez 121 E Plesa, Jr. 5/1
5. Spot J Lezcano 117 N P Zito 10/1
6. Brothersofthetime J M Rios 121 A Sano 12/1
7. Breitling Flyer L Contreras 117 L Azpurua, Jr. 8/1

Picks are – 2,3,4,6 exacta box, with the 5 or 7 at the back of a super play!

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